English Muffin Pizzas

Last week was supposed to be our spring break. I decided that we would call it “free week” and not worry about school or responsibilities. We slept late, baked lots of bread, and watched lots of movies. As we move into week two of social distancing, things will change. We will likely still sleep late, but my kids will have a few simple responsibilities.

I have spoken to home school groups about Feed Your Family Tonight and my 3 step process for weeknight family dinner success. The one thing I hear from home school moms is that dinner isn’t as big of a problem as lunch. Now that most of us with school age kids are “home school moms” I am beginning to understand.

English Muffin Pizzas make a quick and easy kid-friendly lunch. They come together in minutes making them a Manic Mom Meal. You can adapt to the ingredients in your house and can easily work around your picky eaters by letting each kid choose their own toppings. My kid like pepperoni, pineapple, black olives, and diced onion. The trick to making these pizzas crispy is to toast the English muffins under the broiler before adding toppings.

I am writing this recipe for 1 English Muffin. You can adjust the recipe for the number of muffins you need to feed your family.

**A note about clean up.** I highly recommend lining your pan with foil. Parchment paper burns under the high heat of the broiler and can even catch fire. (Ask me how I know.) Silicone baking mats are not recommended for high heat. That means using foil or scraping burnt cheese off  your pans. I prefer to use foil.

 

English Muffin Pizzas

1 English Muffin, Split

2 Tablespoons Jarred Pasta Sauce

1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite pizza toppings (optional)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to Broil.

On a foil-lined baking sheet, place split English Muffins cut-side up. Broil on upper middle rack until beginning to brown about 1-2 minutes. Whenever you are using the broiler it is important to stay close to the oven as they will burn quickly when left unattended.

Remove from oven and top each muffin half with 1 Tablespoon of sauce, 2 Tablespoons of cheese, and any other toppings you prefer.

Return pan to upper middle rack and broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, another 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Turkey Sausage

I can’t remember the first time I made this super easy sausage, but I know it has been a staple in my house for many years. It is super easy and only takes a few minutes to prepare, but the best part is you can control the ingredients. This sausage does not have any additives or preservatives. I like to make it in big batches and keep logs of it wrapped in plastic wrap in my freezer for a quick and hearty addition to breakfast.

Turkey Sausage

1 pound ground turkey (You can use ground pork or chicken.)

1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning (Penzey’s is my favorite brand.)

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (If you are using fine salt or table salt use 3/4 teaspoon.)

2 Tablespoons maple syrup, optional

THE DETAILS

Mix the ground turkey, poultry seasoning, sea salt and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Form into patties and cook in a skillet turning once. The internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This takes about 8-10 minutes.

**Note**

I find the sausage tastes better if I make it the night before. The seasonings have a chance to penetrate the ground turkey. I usually make this several pounds at a time. I portion the sausage into meal-size servings for my family and wrap it into logs with plastic wrap. I freeze the logs and take them out of the freezer the night before serving. The next morning I take a sharp knife and slice the sausage logs into circles and cook them in the skillet.

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

It’s November and most people in the food world are preparing for the BIG EVENT of Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving and will be hosting it at my home this year. I love my traditional recipes for sweet potato and green bean casserole and there are always pumpkin and apple pies. But what many people forget is that you have to feed your family all month long. The week of Thanksgiving can be a challenge because your refrigerator is full of thawing turkeys and lots of ingredients needed for Thanksgiving dinner.

While it is easy to overlook the beginning for Thanksgiving week, if you take a few minutes and plan ahead, you won’t be tempted to call out for pizza. I try to avoid poultry at the beginning of Thanksgiving week because I know we will be eating turkey and leftovers for days.

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes are super simple to make and require very few ingredients. It can even be an excuse to get a little more room in your refrigerator by using up the few remaining pickles at the bottom of the jar, or that last little bit of leftover cheese. Click on the video below to learn how to make this easy weeknight dinner perfect for the beginning of Thanksgiving week.

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes are super simple to make and require very few ingredients. It can even be an excuse to get a little more room in your refrigerator by using up the few remaining pickles at the bottom of the jar, or that last little bit of leftover cheese.

Ingredients

  • 6 Potatoes (Russet, Sweet, or both)
  • 2 Tbl Olive oil (optional)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt (divided use) *
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese (omit for dairy free)
  • ½ C Chopped dill pickles
  • Mustard
  • Scallions

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450.

Scrub potatoes and poke the skin of each potato 5-6 times with a fork or the tip of a knife. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place pricked potatoes on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over potatoes and cover with another sheet of foil. Seal the foil around the edges and place pan in oven. (Alternately- You can skip the pan, oil and salt and place the potatoes directly on the oven racks) Bake potatoes for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile- Chop or puree the onion (I usually puree the onion because my kids revolt if they find a piece of onion). Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over high heat with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper until cooked through. Sometimes brown bits start to accumulate in the pan. To keep it from burning you can add a couple of Tablespoons of water and scrape up the browned bits. I have very lean beef and often have to do this two or three times as the meat cooks.

Slice the cooked potatoes lengthwise and top with the meat mixture, diced pickles, cheese and onions. Drizzle with mustard if desired.

Notes

I usually make some russet and some sweet potatoes. To give the sweet potatoes a little head start, I sometimes microwave them on high for five minutes before putting them in the oven.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1219mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 34g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

6 Potatoes (Russet, Sweet, or both)

2 Tbl Olive oil (optional)

1 lb Ground Beef

1 Medium onion

2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt (divided use) *

¼ tsp Pepper

8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese (omit for dairy free)

½ C Chopped dill pickles

Mustard

Scallions

Directions

Preheat oven to 450.

Scrub potatoes and poke the skin of each potato 5-6 times with a fork or the tip of a knife. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place pricked potatoes on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over potatoes and cover with another sheet of foil. Seal the foil around the edges and place pan in oven. (Alternately- You can skip the pan, oil and salt and place the potatoes directly on the oven racks) Bake potatoes for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile- Chop or puree the onion (I usually puree the onion because my kids revolt if they find a piece of onion). Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over high heat with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper until cooked through. Sometimes brown bits start to accumulate in the pan. To keep it from burning you can add a couple of Tablespoons of water and scrape up the browned bits. I have very lean beef and often have to do this two or three times as the meat cooks.

 

Slice the cooked potatoes lengthwise and top with the meat mixture, diced pickles, cheese and onions. Drizzle with mustard if desired.